David and Charlie are about as different as can be. David is popular, rich, and has loads of friends online and off. Charlie is a loner that shuns the online world. The one thing that links them is Rose. She was a gift to David to address his “dissociative disorder” all the kids these days have. She’s a fully lifelike robot that will be the ideal companion, BUT only after David displays patience, respect and openness will she be able to upgrade intimacy. If he tries to rush anything she sends a powerful shock that jolts them both. After David tires of his ‘new toy’ and discards her she meets Charlie and he realizes she could be his first chance at a real friend.
This is a smart and funny look at how technology can connect us and separate us at the same time. The awkward situations that come from a robot learning how to love are both really funny and make a clever metaphor. The characters are well developed and written with distinctive voices. David is your typical spoiled jerk, but we get inside his head to see the loneliness that comes with living a superficial life. Charlie opens more and more as the novel goes on, so we get to know him little by little. The standout is Rose. She is really interesting because she is learning things that humans take for granted and is a wonderful metaphor for how lost people can become in first love and allow themselves to be completely defined by the person they love. Her slowly changing her programming is handled very well and has some great twists. This is a really good read for people that want an offbeat story about love and true friendship.